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Google Buys Former Apple Employee Startup

Agnilux was founded by people involved in making the application processor used to power the iPad. Terms were not disclosed.

Google has acquired Agnilux, a stealth startup of former Apple employees involved in making the application processor used to power the iPad.

Agnilux was founded by people who worked for PA Semi, a chipmaker Apple acquired in 2008 for $278 million. PA Semi's technology is behind the Apple-designed application processor in the iPad.

On Wednesday, Agnilux's Web site was no longer in existence. Instead, the URL brought up a single page saying, "This Web site is coming soon."

Google confirmed Wednesday the Agnilux acquisition, but offered no other information.

"We're pleased to welcome the Agnilux team to Google, but we don't have any details to share right now," a spokesman said in an e-mail sent to InformationWeek.

Very little is known about the secretive Agnilux. According to a New York Times article, the company included a several people who worked for PA Semi and then for Apple before leaving to form Agnilux. Those people include Mark Hayter, chief operating officer at Agnilux, software engineer Olof Johansson, and Todd Broch, another engineer, the Times reported. In addition, Amarjit Gill, former head of sales at PA Semi, is the chief executive.

How big a role the Agnilux people had in architecting the iPad's application processor is not known. The chip is also believed to be in the next-generation iPhone Apple is expected to release this year. A prototype of the device was left at a Silicon Valley bar and sold to tech blog Gizmodo for $5,000. After dissecting the iPhone, Gizmodo agreed to return it to Apple.

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